Duncan Hines: How a Traveling Salesman Became the Most Trusted Name in Food

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There were no chain restaurants, and finding a quality place to eat on the road was often difficult and posed serious hazards. Hines offered his recommendations to readers in the best-selling Adventures in Good Eating He went on to compile classic cookbooks, including Adventures in Good Cooking and The Dessert Book , both of which have been rereleased to coincide with the biography. He included recipes from some of his favorite restaurants, dishes collected from his family, and his own creations which often used innovative ingredients he encountered in his journeys.

Several even served as the basis for many of the mixes that later bore his name on grocery store shelves across the country. Not only did Hines write about where and what to eat, he wrote about how to eat as well. Hines lobbied for better-educated restaurant employees, and in , the Duncan Hines Foundation was founded.

The label used to sell a lot more

It offered scholarships to students in hotel and restaurant management programs and was one of numerous projects he developed to promote restaurant sanitation across the country. Duncan Hines is more than just a brand name — the man behind that name was a fiercely independent businessman who could not be bought at any price. Hines was determined at all costs to protect the integrity of his reputation because he recognized its value and what it meant to the millions who placed their faith in him.

Emmett Tyrrell Jr. Chop and add onions to salt pork and continue to cook 5 minutes.


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Trio of books delve into life of Kentuckian Duncan Hines – ‘most trusted name in food’

All Rights Reserved. America's pioneer restaurant critic, Hines discovered his passion while working as a traveling salesman during the s and s -- a time when food standards were poorly enforced and safety was a constant concern. He traveled across America discovering restaurants and offering his recommendations to readers in his best-selling compilation Adventures in Good Eating The success of this work and of his subsequent publications led Hines to manufacture the extremely popular food products that we still enjoy today.

Following the successful debut of his restaurant guide, Hines published his first cookbook, Adventures in Good Cooking , at the age of 59 and followed it with The Dessert Book These culinary classics included recipes from many of the establishments he visited on his travels, favorites handed down through his family for generations, and new dishes that contained unusual ingredients for the era. Many of the recipes served as inspiration for mixes that eventually became available under the Duncan Hines brand.

This authoritative biography is a comprehensive account of the life and legacy of a savvy businessman, American icon, and an often-overlooked culinary pioneer whose love of good food led to his name becoming a grocery shelf favorite.

Author Corner

Hatchett offers insightful commentary into the man behind the cake mix boxes and how he paved the way for many others like him. He was America's pioneer restaurant critic, an astute observer of our nation's foodways. Louis Hatchett's book puts you in the car with Hines, plying the roadways in search of the best t-bone steak in New York, the best pecan pie in Alabama.


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Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. But for most Kentuckians, and I suspect for most Americans, Duncan Hines is a Betty-Crocker-type brand-name: fictitious and made-up as just a face for the brand. Those of us who are familiar with Duncan Hines know this isn't true.

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As a Kentuckian he made an impact on the travel guide, lodging, restaurant and food industry. Hines is the original celebrity food critic.

And the cake-mix magnate was kind of a jerk.